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By Hector Hugh Munro (Saki)

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1 By Hector Hugh Munro (Saki)
The Romancers By Hector Hugh Munro (Saki) 顾妍

2 About the writer Hector Hugh Munro (1870 –1916) Pen name: Saki
A British writer A blue plaque

3 About the writer Witty, mischievous and sometimes macabre stories satirized Edwardian society and culture Considered a master of the short story and often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker Influenced by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll and Kipling Influenced A. A. Milne and P. G. Wodehouse

4 Major works Short Stories: Reginald, 1904 Reginald in Russia, 1910
The Chronicles of Clovis, 1911 Beasts and Superbeasts, 1914 The Toys of Peace, 1923 The Square Egg, 1924 A Historical Study: The Rise of the Russian Empire A Fantasy: When William Came (A Story of London Under the Hohenzollerns ) A Parliamentary Parody: The Westminster Alice

5 Life story Born in Akyab, Burma (now known as Myanmar)
Brought up in a strict puritanical household Posted to Burma in 1893 Contracted malaria in 1895, resigned and returned to England Attended World War I, killed by a German sniper in 1916 "Put that bloody cigarette out!" ——his last words Homosexual, "that side of [Munro's] life had to be secret"

6 The Romancers: Summary
A professional beggar tried to tell his fake miserable experience to Morton Crosby in order to arouse sympathy in the latter, and eventually get money from him. However, Crosby was too intelligent to believe the beggar’s story. Instead of exposing him directly, Crosby made up an even more ridiculous story. In the end, the beggar failed to cheat Crosby of his money.

7 Main Characters: Morton Crosby
portrayed as a man from the city, who is really concerned about his benefits. very suspicious and wary of the stranger. indeed street-smart as he did not succumb to the stranger’s persuasion. cleverly weaved his way out at last. describe the character of most people from the city

8 Main Characters: The Beggar
first tried to find some topics to chat with Morton in order to arouse sympathy in Morton. His topics were avoided diplomatically for several times but he tried and tried. finally came to his main point to borrow money from Morton, but was still declined at last.

9 Dialogues: The Beggar: I could tell you things that you'd hardly believe. Marvelous things that have really happened to me. Morton Crosby: Nowadays there is no demand for marvelous things that have really happened, the professional writers of fiction turn these things out so much better. For instance, my neighbors tell me wonderful, incredible things that their Aberdeens and chows and borzois have done; I never listen to them. On the other hand, I have read ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ three times.

10 Dialogues: The Beggar: I take it that you are a professing Christian.
Morton Crosby: I am a prominent and I think I may say an influential member of the Mussulman community  of Eastern Persia. The Beggar: Persia. I should never have taken you for a Persian. Morton Crosby: I am not, my father was an Afghan. The Beggar: Afghanistan. Ah! A very wealthy country, I believe. No real poverty there. Morton Crosby: It possesses, nevertheless, a number of highly talented and ingenious beggars, if I had not spoken so disparagingly of marvelous things that have really happened I would tell you the story of Ibrahim and the eleven camel-loads of blotting-paper. 

11 Dialogues: The Beggar: Then if I was to ask you for a small loan - if I was to ask you for, say -  Morton Crosby: At any other time, certainly, in the months of November and December, however, it is absolutely forbidden for anyone of our race to give or receive loans or gifts; in fact, one does not willingly speak of them. It is considered unlucky. We will therefore close this discussion. The Beggar: But it is still October! Morton Crosby: The Afghan November began yesterday.

12 Descriptions: Morton Crosby: The Beggar: discouragingly
making an excursion himself into the realms of fiction  saw the opening and avoided it The Beggar: strenuous, unseeing gaze moved uneasily in his seat obviously disconcerted with a somewhat aggrieved air    smitten into bewildered silence for a moment    recovered himself and renewed his attack raised his voice on the word "poverty" with a suggestion of intense feeling

13 Descriptions: Morton Crosby: The Beggar:
as an explanation of the foregoing announcement  said Crosby stiffly  The Beggar: stifling all desire to hear the history of Ibrahim pursued the stranger doggedly said the greybeard hastily in a tone that betrayed no enthusiasm for the philosopher's memory  now genuinely interested

14 Descriptions: The conversation had at last taken a favorable turn.
Morton Crosby: said Crosby fervently  The Beggar: The listener‘s eyes were glittering. with a thin sneer ringing meaningly through his words    began the greybeard fawningly , edging nearer on the seat and hurriedly wondering how large he might safely make his request   

15 Descriptions: The beggar’s request was declined by Crosby.
Morton Crosby: Crosby rose from his seat said Crosby severely, and in another moment he was striding across the Park, leaving his recent companion The Beggar: exclaimed the adventurer with an eager, angry whine    scowling and muttering furiously on the seat chattered to himself the snorts and snarls that escaped from him

16 Writing Techniques Allegory Sarcasm Humor

17 Allegory Out of the corner of his eye Crosby also noted with some interest the hesitating hoverings of a human figure, which had passed and repassed his seat two or three times at shortening intervals, like a wary crow about to alight near some possibly edible morsel.   像是一只警惕的乌鸦,即将落在一小块可以用以充饥的东西旁边

18 Sarcasm The uncared-for clothes, the aggressive, grizzled beard, and the furtive, evasive eye of the new-comer bespoke the professional cadger, the man who would undergo hours of humiliating tale-spinning and rebuff rather than adventure on half a day's decent work.   编造故事并被人戳穿也不愿冒险干上哪怕半日体面的工作

19 Humor if I had not spoken so disparagingly of marvelous things that have really happened I would tell you the story of Ibrahim and the eleven camel-loads of blotting-paper.    要是刚才我没把不同寻常的真实事件贬损一通的话,我就会把易卜拉欣和11匹骆驼运载的吸墨纸的故事说给你听了。

20 Thank you!

21 Q&A Q: How to understand the sentence “two of a trade never agree”?
A: The original meaning of the sentence is 同行是冤家. According to my understanding, here it means Crosby is also quite expert in romancing, which is to the beggar’s astonishment. He regrets for he should not have chosen Crosby as his victim. After all, the beggar becomes a victim of his own scheming. Crosby just gives him a dose of his own medicine. (以其人之道还治其人之身)

22 Q&A Q: How to understand the first paragraph?
A: It displays the background of the story. The story happens in autumn, the season between summer and winter. Saki here describes summer as insincere, winter as harsh, but autumn as trustful. His reason is very absurd and humorous. But I think the word trustful is actually corresponding to the beggar’s romance in the following passage, which also embodies Saki’s writing style.

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